Amex Revamps Platinum Card, Increases Perks and Annual Fee

Cardholders get hundreds of dollars more in benefits every year, but at a cost

Today on July 1, American Express announced the launch a new version of its Platinum Card. In addition to new perks geared largely toward luxury travel, the card will also see an increase in its annual fee. It's the first time since 2017 that Amex has made significant updates to the Platinum Card.

Key Takeaways

  • The Platinum Card from American Express is getting a makeover with new credits and discounts potentially worth hundreds of dollars per year.
  • Amex also hiked the card's annual fee, making it one of the most expensive credit cards on the market.
  • The card is not losing any major benefits.

The New Platinum Card Perks

The Platinum Card has been a heavyweight in the travel credit card market since it first launched in 1984. With the recent updates, it continues to offer more value to luxury travelers than any other card in its class.

As new and existing cardholders start planning trips for post-pandemic vacations, they'll now have access to the following perks:

  • Hotel credit: An annual $200 statement credit for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels and Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel. 
  • CLEAR credit: An annual $179 statement credit for a CLEAR membership, which offers expedited security screening at select airports and stadiums across the U.S.
  • More airport lounges: The Platinum Card already offers access to more lounges than any other U.S. credit card. Now, the card issuer is collaborating with Escape Lounges to rebrand Escape Lounges as The Centurion Studios lounges. 
  • Private jet discounts and credits: Up to 40% off a Wheels Up membership and up to $2,000 in initial flight credits to book private charter flights in your first year of membership.
  • Digital entertainment credit: Up to $240 in annual statement credits—$20 per month—on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM, and Peacock. 
  • Equinox Credit: An annual $300 Equinox credit—$25/month—on purchases of select Equinox monthly memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+, the on-demand fitness app.
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: The new Global Dining Access program by Resy gives Platinum Card members exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants, access to premium events, and other perks like priority notify and VIP status. 

These benefits, if cardholders use them, amount to far more than the $145 increase to the annual fee, which takes the card's yearly cost from $550 to $695. 

This is the first time Amex has added new permanent benefits since 2017, when it increased the annual fee from $450 to $550 but also added a $200 annual Uber credit. 

For existing cardholders who opened a Platinum Card before July 1, 2021, the new annual fee will take effect on or after January 1, 2022, when their card renews.

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